Concerned About Respect For The Flag? These Common Flag Code Violations May Surprise You.

This Twitter thread makes several key points.

This weekend stirred a national debate over whether taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of police brutality is a sign of disrespect to America and its flag, but in the actual flag code that was put in place on the first Flag Day back on June 14, 1923, there is no mention of taking a knee being a sign of contempt. 

However, as a viral Twitter thread points out, there are several practices that are frequently utilized today that actually are seen as being disrespectful to The Stars and Stripes. The list, which you can see  below, was started by a Twitter user who goes by the name Hennywise.

As Hennywise's thread will show, based on flag code millions of Americans may have actually disrespected the flag without knowing. By contrast, kneeling during the national anthem is just seen as a "conduct violation" and not a display of scornful behavior. In less than a dozen tweets, Hennywise dismantles the argument that NFL players taking a knee are "disrespecting the flag" by drawing our attention to legitimately disdainful practices.

According to Hennywise, US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176C prohibits carrying the flag horizontally, stating instead that it should always be "aloft and free." As Hennywise's accompanying photos illustrate, the American flag is frequently carried horizontally at various sporting events and other functions, professional including football games.


The third generation vet also says, per US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176D, the flag should never be used as clothing, bedding or drapery. As he did with the previous portion of the code, Hennywise included several pictures to show how frequently this rule is violated.

Subsequent portions of US Flag Code: Chapter 10.176 bar the use of the flag for advertising purposes, forbid it from being embroidered on cushions or clothing, state it can't be used on temporary objects like paper plates or napkins, and disallow its use on costumes or athletic uniforms. All of these practices, however, are exceedingly common and accepted.

Per HuffPost, drawing on the flag also goes against flag code. The same can be said for stepping on it or storing it in a way so that it may easily sustain damage.

As Hennywise concludes, his thread supports the idea that kneeling during the national anthem isn't disrespectful to the flag. "If you want to point your anger at the flag being disrespected anywhere... the mirror might be the best place to start," he poignantly states.

For many, Hennywise's Twitter thread was enlightening and important. "TY so much for giving all of us a civics lesson, one we should already know," one commenter wrote.

While you may not approve of other people's choice to sit or kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest, it's worth noting that nothing about their dissent is classified as disrespectful or unpatriotic. In fact, according to one vet who decided to take a knee on September 24, protesting (and the right to do it) is inherently American.

Cover image via Shutterstock / Dean Drobot / Evan El-Amin /


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